MotoGP: Cal Crutchlow to Ducati Corse

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Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

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MSF Updates Its Basic RiderCourse Curriculum

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Bell & COTA Create Texas-Themed Limited-Edition Helmet

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Aprilia Mounting a Return to MotoGP in 2016

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Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

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Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

MotoGP: Cal Crutchlow to Ducati Corse

08/01/2013 @ 10:02 am, by Jensen Beeler64 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Cal Crutchlow to Ducati Corse cal feet 635x421

After months of intrigue as to where the British rider would land for the 2014 MotoGP Championship, Cal Crutchlow has reportedly signed a two-year deal with Ducati Corse.

Taking the seat of the departing Nicky Hayden, Cal Crutchlow has finally bagged the factory position that he has been adamant about for the past season and a half. The official announcement is expected Friday of this week.

In making his switch to Ducati Corse, Crutchlow has turned down a lucrative offer from Yamaha Racing, which would have seen the Brit on Yamaha’s payroll, with a significant pay increase over his current contract.

That catch to that deal though is that Crutchlow would have had to remain in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 garage, as the factory Yamaha team is full-booked with Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi through the 2014 season.

With Yamaha unable to give Crutchlow the assurances of factory support that were so important to Cal, as well as a clear path of succession into the factory-back team, the 27-year-old rider ultimately declined on Yamaha’s final contract offer.

While Crutchlow will test his fate in the Ducati Corse camp, as so many before him have done, Pol Espargaro is expected to make the switch from Moto2 to MotoGP next season, and will take Crutchlow’s place in the Monster Yamaha Tech garage, alongside fellow Moto2 convert Bradley Smith.

Source: BBC & MCN; Photo: © 2013 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. Brandon says:

    Cal is screwed. Ducati’s mortality rate is 99%, only Stoner survived. Cal doesn’t stand a chance. Just look at what happened to Rossi, Hayden, Dovi, and Melandri. Ducati is all about flare but just doesn’t have the right stuff for GP racing.

  2. LoneStarBR says:

    Poor guy! I guess he could resist everything but temptation! Destined to be one more guy that will find out soon enough that no matter how much money you are making, riding around almost killing yourself for 8th sucks.Anyone out there have any idea what he sold his career for? $

  3. Michael says:

    Sad……

  4. Michael says:

    Ducati must have shown him some sort of development plan for the bike or even possibly the GP14 prototype itself. Otherwise why would he leave a competitive bike/team and a nice contract offer from Yamaha? $20 says Cal does no better than Dovi, Rossi, or Nicky. Not to say he isn’t extremely talented but a rider can only do so much. I’m not sure if everyone has already forgotten but Dovi is stupid fast. He was constantly placing ahead of Cal when they were both in Tech 3 together. Oh well. Maybe Nicky will at least get himself onto a decent bike next year. Too bad he (more likely his management) burned his bridge with Yamaha when he first entered the series. Severely limits his options for a competitive bike in MotoGP

  5. Steve says:

    Why is Yamaha not able to supply a 3rd works bike? If money didn’t seem to be such an issue! Have it painted black and green if need be. Feels like a stupid move for both sides. We’ll see what the future holds!

  6. Harb says:

    “Cal Crutchlow has finally bagged the factory position that he has been adamant about for the past season and a half.”

    This is pretty similar to a teenager begging his parents for a new car at 16, and eventually being presented with a 1999 New Beetle with 250k on the clock and mismatched wheels and body panels. You finally got what you wanted Cal, hope it was worth it.

  7. Ian says:

    I haven’t seen any projected numbers, but obviously Cal is getting a huge raise. He deserves it too! The sad part is he won’t do much better than Dovi and Spies and that means battling with his teammates for 7th-8th.

    It’s strange in Moto GP right now. Prototype bikes and the riders who have them are at the top. But when you fail to get results, finding another ride is damn near impossible unless you are Rossi. You would think the three levels would naturally be prototype bike first, satellite bike second, CRT bike third. You would think if an accomplished prototype rider lost his ride, he could be demoted to satellite. If a satellite rider lost his ride, he could find a CRT ride. Makes sense in theory.

    In reality, finally getting a factory ride and factory rider money comes with a HUGE risk. There is nowhere else to go and you better get results. It happened to Hayden this year it and might happen to Crutchlow in two years. Technically, Spies is still a factory rider and he might be gone after next year.

    The only thing that will change this trend is more factory bikes and they should be on their way. If Suzuki and Aprilia both bring factory bikes that are at least ahead of all CRT bikes, top riders will have so many more options.

  8. Idgy says:

    Not the way I hoped this story would go, have to agree with the earlier comments. Of course there is always the hope that he could be the man to tame the Ducati beast, but the chances look very slim.

  9. G says:

    NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CAL!!!! NOOOOOO!!!!!
    uh…I know he deserves factory money and he wants a factory ride. The good people of Italy will take well to his lively personality, BUT THE BIKE IS SHIT! Its will continue to be shit. He will be honnest about how shit it is and his hopes of running up front with the big 4 are gone. Poor Cal. Good luck buddy. I hope Im very wrong.

  10. Ian says:

    As fans of Moto GP, we should all hope and expect the Ducati to get more competitive. If Bradley Smith is outperforming Crutchlow next year………So sad, but it will probably happen.

  11. Ducatista says:

    Love all the misinformed comments on here by fair-weather fans. Since when does past performance have anything to do with future performance? Hey? Hamilton at Mercedes for starters. Heard exactly the same thing from all the internet “experts”: “Mercedes are no good…Hamilton will not win a race next year”. WRONG NOW SHUT IT. I also love the ones who mention Ducati are useless at racing and just “show bikes”. You’ve obviously never heard of World Super Bike then? Ducati has been dominating that pretty much for the past 2 decades.
    Audi is on board now, they know about winning (Le Mans). Ducati can and will turn it around, never underestimate them. Reason why Ducati were doing so badly thse past few years? 1) A comatose Hayden content to be an also-ran in order to bring home a millionaire pay packet safe in the knowledge the Ducati USA sales/marketting team were behind him. 2) A Stoner who couldn’t care less about Ducati or MotoGP and only put the effort in when needed i.e to get a big contract. Yeah we can see the commitment of Stoner to MotoGP. Right… Japanese teams have no magic wand and Ducati WILL make a competitive, championship winning bike VERY SOON. Mark my words!!

  12. John D'Orazio says:

    I guess I have to get real for just a moment. Even though the Ducati is unlikely to improve much over the next two years, Crutchlow’s pay increase means that at the end of that time, he could retire a very wealthy man. Given the danger involved at this level of racing, I guess I really can’t blame him for grabbing the biggest pay check he can. Its the smart move, just not the one that maximizes podium potential.

  13. wayne says:

    @Ducatista: Odd that you completely forgot to mention that even Rossi jumped ship as soon as he had the chance. Without fixing the GP12 or GP13, by the way. I also wonder why you blame the riders when the only thing each of them had in common has been the Ducati. I want to see the Ducati be competitive as well, but I will not ignore that, as it stands, the Ducati factory team is where careers go to die. But with a factory paycheck, of course.

  14. Nick says:

    @Ducatista

    Past performance can be an indicator of future performance – what planet do you live on?

    In case you weren’t sure, we’re talking about motoGP, not WSBK, but maybe the GP13 could better compete on that level though? – Good thought

    It was a pretty even split on opinions of how Hamilton would fair this season. McLaren were lagging in competitiveness relative to some others, Mercedes was clearly interested in consistent improvement.

    Audi being on board is the same thing I’ve been hearing since Rossi was there. OK, Audi has been on board now, where are the changes? Where are the results? I’m sure there are some past history lessons to be noted here.

    Hayden did what he could with what he had, why is Dovi not finishing but more than a place or two infront of him if he is so slow? Or would you say Dovi is also slow?

    Stoner won Ducati a title? . . . Hmm, guess he put in just a “little” effort for Duc then eh?

    Japanese firms have no magic wand, OK, so then nor does Audi right?

    Let’s see a competitive Ducati first, then we’ll talk about championships. I for one would love nothing more than to see a more competitive field and more prototypes in it.

  15. Ian says:

    @Ducatista,

    Man, it seems like you really like Ducati. But the past few years have shown a bad trend for them. The bike has been a career killer lately and the last “radical” change they tried was a disaster. So, all of the people talking about how bad Ducati is (and will be in the near future) have valid points.

    I would bet all the people commenting on this site would love for Ducati to come with a much more competitive bike, but that probably won’t happen in time to help Crutchlow, Spies or Dovi. It didn’t do any favors for Hayden or Rossi either.

    Your comments about riders not trying hard on the Ducati can be dismissed with one example:

    NO ONE is the history of the Ducati Moto GP program wanted to win more on a Ducati than Valentino. He wanted more than anything to prove he could solve the bikes problems and win for himself, his country and Ducati. He and Ducati failed miserably, to the detriment of the whole sport.

    You don’t have to be an internet expert to see that.

  16. TwoWheelLoo says:

    The Ducati GP and WSBK package is bad, but as a brand they’re non too shabby. Who knows what will happen next season 100%? We know they will suffer but they’ve had about two seasons to work on the GP bike now; again, who knows? Maybe in 2014 there could be a breakthrough, all I know is people shouldn’t be counting their sheep yet.

    As for Cal, the reality of switching to a FACTORY ride is probably of him wanting to be a priority rider. Also the money, sorry but reality is in racing (breaking bones, stress etc etc.) you want to be PAID. It’s a lifestyle and a passion but it’s also a career…

    Maybe with fresh POV’s from Dovi and Cal, the Ducati GP package can change; if not, we can all just reiterate what’s wrong with Ducati Corse… Chewing and spitting out riders. Until then lets just sit and watch.

  17. BrianZ says:

    @Ducatista, read Dovi’s words on what HE thinks of Cal’s potential with the machine here -> http://www.superbikeplanet.com/2013/Aug/130801b.htm . This coming from his former teamate whom he regularly diced with and knows full well how he rides.

  18. L2C says:

    See my post here.

  19. G says:

    @Nick- While I agree with you on everything, Stoner was one of those freaks of nature that could ride and POS with wheels that you gave him. People need to stop using that year as proof that Ducati was good. The bikes have changed completely since then.
    @Ducatista…….its pretty obvious you are super biased, so we I will excuse your blind enthusiasm. Audi has been slow to sort out Ducati, but they will be onboard this year. They will bring money, but thats no promise of success. The problem is Ducati engineers are always right. If you cant go fast, its your stupid fault, not theirs. Dont you dare criticize the bike. How do I know this? I own one. Riding a Ducati every day, even in very successful production trim, the bikes are designed with the rider as last consideration. We have been complaining of the shit exhaust design on our streetfighters for years that burns the heel of your boot and leaves no room for your right foot when on the ball of your feet….to top it off they make the pegs nice and slippery on the end. Their reply? Deal with it, because its beautiful. Not the attitude that will win championships. Cal will be a “remember him?” in 1 year.

  20. Ian says:

    @BrianZ

    That’s a great link!! Hayden was always upbeat until this year. Dovi started out realistic and has become pessimistic really quickly. You can see it all over his face in post race interviews. He knows Cal won’t go much better than anyone else would.

    His insight about rider style not being the solution is very informative. It’s pretty safe to say no rider could win (dry race) on the current bike. Not Marquez, not Stoner, not Lorenzo, not anyone.

    Sad, but true.

  21. Tony C says:

    As the name indicated, Ducatista and his comment might be a satiric, in responding to the overwhelming nay-sayers. Or he might simply be trolling. Either way, I wish Ducati the best and MotoGP needs Ducati to be competitive. I really hope that they can make incremental improvements. Good job on Ducati’s part to be able to secure good riders to keep its fan base happy. As for Cal, he will be just fine, win or lose. Given his age, he prob realized that this is his last chance to make a splash before his ability starts to fade. Good job on his part to snatch a big contract.

  22. gsp75 says:

    Cal is a great rider !!! I wish him the best but more $$$ more problems , Ducati has a big pay day but is it really worth running in 6 /7 place for a so called Factory ride ??? Pride is a persons downfall Tech3 not factory still beating factory teams !!! good luck Cal !!!

  23. BrianZ says:

    what will REALLY burn Cal up is if Pol Espargaro gets on that Tech3 bike and they still haven’t sorted out the Ducati, and he gets passed by Pol on a regular basis. Given Cal’s open resentment of the Yammie/Pol situation that he knew was happening behind closed doors. It’ll be like when Rossi was getting passed by Stoner when Stoner went to Honda.

  24. Halfie30 says:

    Lets remember that Ducati were very competitive when the entered the series 10 years ago. VAG’s influence should start to show after this season. Putting a but more pressure on Ducati. Remember Dovi had stipulations in his contract of certain amounts of development. Ducati should be tinkering with a highly modified, if not new from the ground up, competitive prototype for next year. Crutchlow seems to think he and Stoner have similar riding styles as well… Lets just give him time to prove himself.

  25. L2C says:

    I suppose the joke here is that Cal still struggles to pass Dovi. Hrhrhr… ;-)

    Seriously, I wish him well. Who knows, 2015 may bring good things.

  26. dc4go says:

    Hope Ducati can get it together soon the more competition the better. Funny cause on track they all look the same speed wise but a tenth here a tenth there equals 1 second a lap slower.

  27. Daniel says:

    Factory schmactory. Big mistake Cal, lost some respect from me. It’s more impressive to wipe your ass with factory riders while on an inferior bike than to have your “factory” ride. He just bought his ticket to 10th place like Dovi did. By this time next season he’s going to be staring at his replacement from mid pack. I hope I’m wrong.

  28. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Arrivederci Cal.

    No biggie. You’re only risking life and limb for 10th place or so…but you’re killing your career.

    No complaining when race after race you’re 25+ seconds behind the guy who wins.

    Enjoy, have fun.

  29. Norm G. says:

    re: “Given the danger involved at this level of racing, I guess I really can’t blame him for grabbing the biggest pay check he can.”

    yup, we only need look at the revelry surrounding the injuries of jay and dani, only to be YET AGAIN brought down to earth with the death of antonelli. now back up the brinks truck… beep, beep, beep.

  30. Westward says:

    This is Audi’s first season as Ducati’s overlords. They have since replaced their top management, as well as their top engineers. So to apply prior attitudes to Ducati’s approach going forward lacks merit.

    Motogp is a very dangerous sport, and Cal is not as young as Marquez, Pol, or Redding. His decision was a logical one. What’s the difference between placing 4th or 8th if neither will you the championship. There are only four bikes capable of winning the title, and the four pilots on them are the current best.

    Lets not forget those who have lost their lives or quality of life due to racing in the recent past and even this year. Cal made the right choice. He needs only survive it for the next few years.

    Three major elements make a champion. The Pilot, the Bike, and the Tyres. 2007 Stoner had all three and Rossi had only two. 2008 Rossi switched to Bridgestones and regained the title. Then in 2009 everyone was on Bridgestones and Rossi won again.

    2010 Lorenzo benefited by having all three, add to that the injuries to Rossi and Pedrosa, along with Stoners technical woes, Lorenzo becomes the obvious champion.

    2011 Stoner along with the best bike and the same tyres as everyone else regains his title. Pedrosa is still a little banged up and Rossi is on the Ducati. Lorenzo is his only real competition, but Stoner was always a better pilot.

    2012 Lorenzo reclaims his title, maintaining all three factors. Pedrosa again banged up, now Stoner too, and Rossi still on the Ducati where attitudes have still not yet changed.

    Looking at this season, the same still holds true. Currently Marquez has his Talent along with the best bike and tyres, with Pedrosa and Lorenzo injured, should he stay healthy, the title is his. Only Rossi is the wildcard, should he finally sort out this new 1000 M1.

    Cal will never win a title on a satellite bike though he has the talent and tyres. His best bet is the hopes that his style of riding compliments the Ducati enough to be competitive or Audi and Ducati’s new bike next year is better than the current iteration.

    Cal is not racing to be 4th or 8th. He wants to be champion, since Yamaha are not willing to give him factory support, the. He went where he would have a chance to win, and not just races.

    The Ducati can win with the right Pilot with the right mentality. Stoner proved that, and Capirossi almost did. Spies is injured and hasn’t had a proper go on the Ducati. Cal could very well be the missing factor that gives them all three like I think Spies is once healthy.

    Even Ducati’s production racer has potential once they have the opportunity to use the CRT soft tyre. With the right pilot, who knows. Maybe even Hayden will end up on it to test that theory.

  31. Oh, boo. I wonder whether Cal’s contract has the Marco Melandri Sports Psychology memorial clause stipulated by Ducati. “If you don’ win, see the shrink.”

    IF Ducati can figure out how to make a competitive bike again, this will be pure win for the series. The whole Ducati stable is chock-a-block with fast and fearless riders. That said, it’s been years since they’ve been running up front. I fear for Cal’s sanity after a season or two of running mid-pack. Worst case for Cal would be having both Tech 3 bikes in front of him on a regular basis. Based on this year’s bikes, that’s a likely scenario unless Ducati makes big advances.

  32. Gonzo says:

    My first impulse was to scoff…but who knows? He just might make that bitch work.

  33. mike says:

    @BrianZ

    What would really burn a few butts would be to put Hayden
    on Cals old bike & have him win: )

  34. paulus says:

    Cal – well done for the big paycheck
    At the end of the day… the money is the reality of it.
    It is the one thing nobody discusses capping when talking about ‘cost control’ in MotoGP
    You can limit the fuel, number of engines, or single out the best dominant parts brands for price capping… but the riders are there for the glory AND the dough.

    There can only be one campion each year… whether 2nd or 11th the only difference is the amount they get paid.

  35. James says:

    Looks like Cal is doing a Lewis Hamilton. Folk said Hamilton was mad to leave McLaren to go to Mercedes, like Hamilton we know Cal has the talent, let’s hope that Audi/Ducati can start to get their act together.

    Of course Cal will enjoy the pay rise, and why shouldn’t he, let’s hope he has a good understanding and faith in Audi’s development direction for Ducati over the next 24 months.

  36. Motogpdr says:

    Seems like everyone is missing the big picture here….it’s not about winning…It’s about 3-5 million euros per year to race a bike….cal retires in two years a rich an and ducati sakes will continue to be high despite no wins…..cal is smarter than the credit he is given

  37. Kk says:

    I think the biggest thing that pisses me off about the deal is that Cal with a solid factory Yamaha or Honda would be winning races and giving the top 3 some one else to worry about big time.

    I was so ready to watch him get a good bike and break up the 3 amigos

  38. jet says:

    HAHA gotta love the winers and cryers.Is this gonna make you stop watching or even going to a motogp race,CAL made the right choice for him not you or me but him.Yamaha tryed to bait him to stay but nope its on to greenier and bigger pastures and screw all the haters cause the new REDBEAST rider will Casey Stoner the whole show…..lol

  39. JW says:

    @ Westward: hit the nail on the head.

    2 years making millions and trying to be world champion on a Ducati is not a career killer, it’s smart business.
    This sport is about money and making money. Cal did the right thing under the circumstances he was under, there is no blame to be made. He may come back in 14 with the right bike and do well. The very thought of this challenge makes for good news, good fortunes, good sales. Nicky walks away a millionaire, Cal and Dovi will walk away someday millionaires, life’s good..

  40. L2C says:

    @ Westward

    Let’s not forget that Audi is also synonymous with understeer. Audi is the solution to the Desmo’s most persistent and fundamental problem?

    Just a bit of irony for ya!

  41. TexusTim says:

    I dont think cal had much choice..how can tech three be trying to keep him if there bringing espargo up…that was a done deal before this annoucment…so was tech three going to run three bikes ? lose smith and keep cal and bring up espargo?..the question begs some clarity…think back to the interviews with cal and espargo together….they both acted like they knew what was coming…before nicky was dumped…..there is going to be someone who can make the duc work…maybe he can..the odds are clearly against that but…..

  42. mike says:

    I agree with all those who say it is a smart business move that has to be decided by the individual
    and also yes it is Cal’s decision alone
    But…………….

    To take a line from the Movie Troy it may also be a case of
    “That is why nobody will remember your name”

    Racers race first for the sake of racing to be number 1.
    Is that egotistical? no more than trying to be #1 in anything else.
    They move up & it becomes a job too & income is important especially when risk is involved.
    I think most know deep inside early on if being a champion is really attainable or not.
    If not then many will try to pad their future as best they can financially. Who can blame them?
    Pro racing career is usually short & risk filled.

    Folks like Rossi & Hayden took the cash too but they were different as their names were already set in stone in the records.

    Marquez will be the same no matter what bike brand he rides. He is just obviously destined to be great.

    I really hope 100% that Cal pulls it off & gets them both. Meaning the pay he deserves & the glory that will make his name one that is in the records to be remembered.
    But this move is not without risk of later being looked back on as ….
    “That is why nobody will remember his name”

  43. Westward says:

    @ mike

    In Troy, the boy displays a fear and lack of confidence that elicited the reply from Achillies. Cal on the other hand has never shied from saying that the Ducati just needs the right Pilot, and implying that he is the one. I think he really believes he can tame what others have failed to do.

    That is why Cal just may succeed. A calculated risk that will reap some great reward, and a name that may very well be remembered for times to come…

  44. Silas says:

    I think Cal believes he can tame the Ducati. In fact, he said it wasn’t so bad having ridden it last year during negotiations then.
    Secondly, he wants not only the money but the whole package around riding for a factory team that includes being waited on hand and foot so he doesn’t have to hassle about his travel, logistics etc.

  45. Sebastian says:

    Waw, every one says it’s sad, I do assume his relatives did the same but he did signed with the Reds! Sure he’s been shown a lot of money, let’s hope he’s been shown drastic innovations and changes on the bike as well.

    Despite that, I clearly don’t understand this decision as well as promoting Pol Espagaro to MotoGP whereas his brother Aleix deserves quite more a proto bike…

    Well well, I can already figure out Cal declarations in the press after two or three GPs in 2014 “we are testing this but”, “we are waiting for this”, “we made a good GP with less than 1sec by lap”…

    I think he will loose his famous sens of humor but I wish him some successes.

    Greetings from Paris, France

  46. Jimbo says:

    @Westward
    “There are only four bikes capable of winning the title, and the four pilots on them are the current best.” – Completely agree.

    @James
    “Looks like Cal is doing a Lewis Hamilton” – you are right he is just like Lewis Hamilton. He is a complete moaner, and has the personality of a damp cloth. Unlike Hamilton however he has never won anything

    Good riddance he has gone to ducati – maybe the bbc can focus on the racing now, not rabbiting on about a rider who has never won anything and is soundly dislike by his team for being an ass.

  47. smiler says:

    I love all the doomsday visionaries here. Hayden is a good rider no more. He has won 3 GP’s since 2003 and as he said himself he was lucky in 2006. Yamahaha have signed another Spaniard to the Spanish cup in Pol Paella. Dorna will be happy, feigning disappointment. So clearly Cal was not going anywhere in Yamahaha by staying in tech 3 with no guarantee of factory level support. Hhhhhonda are looking for younger blood.
    Ducati entered MotoGP in 2003 with a CRT bike, which did well. They have out performed Kawaski, Suzuki, Aprilia, KD racing, Illmor and on occasion Yamahaha and Honda, usually with middling riders and before 2008 with a good rider, (StaceyConer). The bike Stoner rode and the bike now are very different. It was really Stoner who set the demise in motion by demanding a stiffer and more consistent frame than (well understood) welded scaffolding. Ducati went to Ferrari (keep it close to the family) and the carbon frame was born (completely unknown) and the Bridgestone control tire. Stoner struggled but still managed 4th in the championship twice. Rossi is too old to adapt to a different bike, that is clear from the time taken to get results on the M1 again.

    As by far the smallest factory in MotoGP and one who because of their size needed to and / or make a bike they could sell (DR16) and use the tech in MotoGP for production to justify their involvement more directly than other manufacturers.
    Burgess biggest criticism of Ducati was the speed of development compared to Yamahaha and Honda. When Audi took over, Ducati had overhauled their entire production range, increased the number of types of bikes they sell and the number.
    Audi said that with Ducati Corse they would: change the management – done, sort Ducati Corse processes – done, change the team structure . done, develop the current platform – done. Put in place a long-term development plan for MotoGP, presumably done.
    Does anyone seriously think Audi with their history bought Ducati without a view to wining in WSBK and MotoGP? Ducati is now backed by a company the size of Honda. This will allow them to produce a prototype with one objective to win, not to be sold or used as a production development platform, increase the R&D and development capacity, focus Ducati Corse on racing and not racing and production development. And lest face it Audi are not exactly idiots when it comes to innovation and winning in motorsport are they…….
    Are motorcycles sufficiently different? Not really.
    Will Cal fit in well. Straight talking, aggressive, speaks his mind, not especially diplomatic, logical, tough. Template for a German racer……
    Rossi’s mistake was getting freaked out by Lorenzo, leaving Yamaha too early because he was afraid he would not be able to beat Lorenzo on the same bike. His very aggressive moves on Lorenzo in 09, seem to highlight that, not to mention his quick decision to move from the M1 to Ducati.
    Think if he had stayed 2 more years and moved to Ducati now……

  48. Mike says:

    @ Westward

    True that at the moment that line was spoken in the flick it was as you say in ref to a fight.
    But the movie constantly showed Achillies sought greatness.

    I think anyone looking to be great in MotoGP/ A MotoGP champion must look at the tools available.
    I am sure Cal did too. I just hope he saw something in Ducati that made him say
    yes I can win on that.

    If not as I said earlier financial based decisions are personal & for each to make.

    I would agree that if he went to Ducati & cleaned up he would be remembered surely

  49. Bryan says:

    Happy for Cal in terms of him making bank. Unhappy for all the fans as Ducati won’t be competitive…Which I hate saying as an ardent Ducati (and Cal) fan! I hope he can clean up that mess.

  50. @Jimbo: “He is a complete moaner, and has the personality of a damp cloth. Unlike Hamilton however he has never won anything”

    Despite your own moaning, Crutchlow did, in fact, win the 2009 Supersport World Championship. Go on, Google it.

  51. Faust says:

    I think Ducati will turn it around now with Audi on board. People are upset with Cal for this decision….why? On Tech 3, he will always and forever be a step behind the full factory bikes. People like to say his bike has the same engine, and it does. Has nobody seen the interview where Cal talks about how he’s always multiple chassis upgrades behind Lorenzo though? Sure he could stay on Tech 3, and catch an occasional podium here and there, but where does that lead? Nowhere. What does Yamaha do for him? Nothing. Now being on a factory bike, he is in a win win situation. All the burden is off him. If he fails to produce, everyone will blame the bike. If he puts it on the podium, he will he hailed as the second coming of CS27. And he’s getting paid like a mofo! And now he gets to kick it at World Ducati Week, and be part of the family. Ducati is what it is, but if you ever go to a GP race, check the atmosphere at the hospitality tents. If you’ve been, you know what I’m talking about. There’s just something about Ducati that makes you want to be a part of it. Being with Ducati will increase his fan exposure, the bar is set super low, and the pay is good….what’s to decide? To me this makes perfect sense. Chasing a 2nd place or chasing a 6th place is still not winning. The Tech 3 will never be on par with the top competition. The Ducati probably won’t be either…but it might. Taking that chance is worth the risk. Oh, and people who hate on Hayden are ridiculous. The man beat himself to death on that bike year after year and was completely loyal to Ducati. How can you fault him?

  52. LoneStarBR says:

    Faust – Good points on your post! I own Ducati bikes – I attend MotoGP – I am a huge fan of the brand – for me as an American – Nicky has been a big lure for me ( and I think others) for the brand. I do think Nicky help sell bikes in the states – in fact I know it. I wonder if Cal can do the same on Monday’s in the showroom? I find it amazing that Ducati cannot fix the problem on their MotoGP bikes- its been years! Would love to see it improve – would love to see Nicky on a bike that he enjoys thrashing and hopefully fighting for wins – he genuinely deserves that. One last note – Win Casey won on the bike – the tire situation was very different – its easy for us all to forget how absolutely crucial tire development / matching with bike design is – plus he is an alien and the electronic control of the bikes changed everything! It will be fun to watch it unfold – Lets Get It!

  53. JoeD says:

    Good to see Cal get a Factory Seat. He seems to have that rough around the edges persona that may work for Ducati. At some point, Ducati/Audi may need to revert to the trellis type frame. It is absolutely crucial to have the steering head linked to the swingarm mounting by the straightest, most direct means. The engine has the power, the handling is missing. Best of luck to Cal and Ducati.

  54. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    @smiler,

    Oh god here we go again… the whole Nicky was lucky to win his world championship talk.

    Anyone who says only luck must have brought Nicky Hayden his world championship must only know sports from the joystick of their video games. Anyone who has ever engaged, participated, was a part of, tried out for, or actually won at sports (any sport: from badmitten to motorcycle racing) knows it takes a hell of a lot more than luck to be the world champion.

    Stoner could put the Ducati in the winner’s circle when others couldn’t. That has to count for something. It was a different era, I will grant anyone that (spec tires et al) but it can’t be denied Stoner was special.

    The argument is–could anyone do what Stoner did with the Ducati? Apples to oranges argument aside, it would seem the answer is no. Any attempt by very good riders (Hayden, Rossi, Dovi, Spies, Iannoni, Melandri,…) is just throwing years of their career away. Cal Crutchlow shall be added to the list.

  55. Doug says:

    Cal will be ok, everyone. He races motorcycles for a living.

  56. Shawn says:

    I feel bad for Crutchlow, it’s a lot easier from outside the rider’s mind to see the potential flaw in his plan. In the MotoGP rider’s mind, they’re all as good as Stoner on anything. Dovi thought he’d do fine before going to Ducati, Rossi/Burgess said that sorting the Ducati should basically be a couple front end tweaks. Riding in MotoGP means you have to have a huge ego, and so the fact that Stoner could win on it makes them all think they can win on it too. In Cal’s mind the only reason he’s not a winner yet is because he hasn’t had a factory machine. Audi could change Ducati enough for Cal to win, and I hope they do, but the record makes it seems unlikely.

    Good Luck to you Cal.

  57. Norm G. says:

    re: “there is going to be someone who can make the duc work”

    doesn’t matter. even if by some MIRACLE stoner himself were to come back and be competitive, the elephant in the room only grows BIGGER. the herculean task of constructing kit that anybody can win on remains.

    god forbid, but what if said “working rider” gets injured, killed, or retires…? then what…? it’s not like we haven’t seen any one of these three scenarios.

  58. Norm G. says:

    re: “Even Ducati’s production racer has potential once they have the opportunity to use the CRT soft tyre.”

    well that or it’s simply dead end #1,382…?

  59. It remains to be seen whether non-MSMA entries will be allowed to run a softer compound than the MSMA entries. I haven’t seen it mentioned in the 2014 regs discussions yet. If there isn’t a soft tire, I suspect Ducati won’t be getting a lot of interest in their understeering cart.

  60. TheSwede says:

    “Doug says: Cal will be ok, everyone. He races motorcycles for a living.”

    This. Above all else, he’s doing what he loves and getting paid handsomely. He jets around the world with his fiance, getting opportunities most of us only dream of.

    Whatever happens, happens. But this whole “life” thing we’re all doing? He’s doing a damn good job of living it

    Best of luck to him.

  61. Faust says:

    Is it really reasonable to think that Ducati will not get better ever? That its impossible to improve? I remember back in 03 when all people could talk about was how terrible Yamaha was and how the bike was garbage. People said the Yamaha would mess up Rossi’s career. Those people were wrong.

  62. JW says:

    The silly season and debates move along…

    This is the greatest show on earth

  63. L2C says:

    @ gokhon

    Yeah, how about those Mets? LOL…

  64. Silas says:

    smiler – Stoner was struggling with himself when he came fourth in the season. He was seriously ill.